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N.Y. Lawmakers Pass Bill to Decriminalize Pot, Expunge Arrests

June 21, 2019, 1:43 PM

New York lawmakers decriminalized small amounts of marijuana after failing to agree on a comprehensive package that would have fully legalized the drug and provided revenue for social programs.

The state Senate passed its bill Thursday evening, 39-23, and the Assembly approved it early Friday, though a vote count wasn’t immediately available.

“This is not the final step, but it will lay the groundwork for full decriminalization and legalization,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said in a statement.

The measure allows individuals to avoid criminal penalties for holding less than two ounces (57 grams) of the drug. The law still calls...

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